There are multiple incentives for those interested in carrying out a historic preservation project.
Locally, a Historic Preservation Property Tax Exemption, also known as an ad valorem tax exemption, is available for select historic properties. The exemption applies to the increase in property taxes that result from improving a property and lasts for a ten year period. If approved, a covenant will also be placed on the property.
To be eligible, a structure must be located within a local historic district, listed as part of a district or individually on the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as a local landmark. The overall project must also meet the monetary thresholds described in the city's municipal code (Chapter 2, Article VII, Section 2-392).
The Historic Architectural Review Board
If eligible, the proposed project must be reviewed, and approved, by the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) prior to work being carried out. The board will look to the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings when making their decision.
HARB will review the project again when it is completed to confirm that it followed the approved design and met the Guidelines. After the board's review, their recommendation will be sent to the City Commission for its approval.
For More Information
There is some flexibility with the building code when rehabilitating historic structures. These can include variances to raising historic homes and compliance with the American's with Disability Act. For information on how the building code can impact a project, contact the Planning and Building Department.
The Florida Division of Historical Resources (DHR) offers grants to non-profits and government entities for historic preservation projects. Grant and application information is available on the DHR website. Questions should be directed to DHR staff.
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program is available to income-producing properties and offers a tax credit for eligible preservation projects. For information about the program, visit the National Park Service's Tax Incentives page.
Research has proven that properties in a historic district have more stable and increasing property value thereby offering an incentive to maintain the character of the building and promote historic property designation.
The value of construction projects on historic buildings is oftentimes higher because of the level of skilled labor and use of local labor and materials which provides a greater local economic impact and encourages the use of sustainable resources.